Charities and small businesses across Bath & North East Somerset not eligible for the business grants scheme set up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are now being offered grant support.
The government has set up a discretionary fund to be administered by local authorities with eligible charities and businesses urged to register by Wednesday 10th June.
This fund will offer support to:
- Charities and community organisations who receive mandatory charitable business rates relief that otherwise would have been eligible for small business rates relief, or rural rate relief AND are not eligible under the existing grant schemes.
- Small and micro businesses directly impacted by COVID-19 who also have relatively high ongoing fixed building-related costs such as rent, service charges and Council Tax or Occupy a property, or part of a property, with a rateable value or annual rent or annual mortgage payments below £51,000.
Under the guidance set by the government, the following businesses will be prioritised for the discretionary funding:
- Shared or flexible workspaces – small businesses that have exclusive use of a unit within a shared or flexible workspace, but don’t have their own business rates assessment (for example, units in offices, industrial parks, science parks and incubators)
- Market or Street Traders – with a fixed pitch and a street trading licence, or lease agreement if in a covered market
- Bed & Breakfasts and guest houses – where the business owner lives on site, holds a valid Food Safety registration with the council and is paying Council Tax rather than business rates.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is currently working with partners to contact organisations eligible for the grants.
The council will have discretion over how it prioritises funding applications. This will be based on local economic need and will be subject to the availability of funding.
Limited discretion is also available to consider a small number of businesses who meet the eligible business criteria, but don’t fall into the priority categories.
Councillor Richard Samuel, cabinet member for Resources said: “I’m delighted that we are going to be able to help more of our local businesses and organisations directly impacted by the pandemic.
“This financial support will give them peace of mind and the confidence to continue their work in an uncertain time.
“Being able to adapt our approach to local circumstances will enable us to do our very best for Bath & North East Somerset.”
For more details about the fund, eligibility and the registration process visit: https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/register-discretionary-fund.
The deadline to register for a discretionary grant is Wednesday 10th June.